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Opening up my Kintail account

Opening up my Kintail account


Postby PeteR » Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:18 am

Route description: Sgurr nan Conbhairean, Carn Ghluasaid and Sail Chaorainn

Munros included on this walk: Carn Ghluasaid, Sail Chaorainn, Sgurr nan Conbhairean

Date walked: 18/09/2011

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First of all I think I should be apologising to all those WH boys and girls who braved Kintail recently for the Kintail meet. Weeks of planning and the tail end of Katia does its best (or worst) to spoil your fun. I see your reports and pictures, feel inspired to open my Kintail account and a week later the conditions could not have been more different.

So it was an early start on Sunday morning - heading out of the house at 3.00 am for the drive up to Lundie for the circuit of the three easterly hills in the area - Carn Ghluasaid, Sgurr nan Conbhairean and Sail Chaorainn. I hadn't been up this way for a while and had never walked in the hills, so as I was heading north from Fort William I was really beginning to feel the sense of anticipation for what the day ahead might be :D

At times the drive didn't instil a great deal of optimism, as there was plenty of cloud about in places and the odd spots of rain :shock: but pulling into the large parking area at Lundie and my hopes were up as there were some decent breaks in the cloud, even if it shrouding the tops of the hills.

After a short break where I got myself fed I was ready for the 'off' and on my way. Some nice early views, even from just above the main road.
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Early view park toward Loch Cluanie

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And the burn off the hill

A bit higher up and the path crossed a large slab of rock with a good view of the first target ahead of me.
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Looking toward Carn Ghluasaid

Views across loch cluanie and beyond were also opening up nicely too 8)
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Early view across Loch Cluanie

My assessment of the path onto and up the first of my targets - Carn Ghlasaid - would be excellent, but oh was it boggy in places :lol: :lol: Even higher up too :lol: :shock: But having said that, it was a nice easy walk up all the way. I'd decided early on that I wasn't going to try and rush up these hills. The cloud was lifting nicely and my hopes were rising all the time :D And I was wanting to get maximum pleasure from my introduction to walking in Kintail.
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Almost at the top of the first summit

And before I know it I was at the summit. The cloud was clearing still, the sky was getting bluer, the temperature was getting warmer and the views were getting better and better 8) :D
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Carn Gluasaid summit

The descent off Carn Gluasaid was very gradual and easy. This was followed by a nice east ascent up onto the top of Creag a Chaorainn, where the views were fantastic - back up to Carn Gluasaid, across Loch Cluanie and up to the second target of the day - Sgurr nan Conbhairean :D :D :D
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Looking back to Carn Gluasaid from Creag a Chaorainn

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Across Loch Cluanie

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The route up Sgurr nan Conbhairean from Creag a Chaorainn

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View to South Glen Shiel Ridge

The walk from the saddle between Creag a Chaorainn and Sgurr nan Conbhairean was probably as steep as it got all day, but it really wasn't difficult. But hey, the sun was out 8) What was to complain about :D 8) :lol:

Arriving at the summit and the views were fantastic 8) :D
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Sgurr nan Conbhairean summit cairn

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View to Sail Chaorainn from Sgurr nan Conbhairean summit

At this point I had the place to myself :D I knew there were a group of 5 behind me, but despite my relaxed pace I seemed to have opened up a bit of a gap with them. This meant I had the summit to myself. So I took the opportunity to have a quick rest and a bit of food and just soak up the views :D :D

There was a bit of a drop down off the summit, which I knew I was going to have to walk back up most of the way on the route back :shock: I realised I wasn't looking forward to that, but in reality when it was time to come back it wasn't actually that bad :lol:

Views back to Sgurr nan Conbhairean.
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Sgurr nan Conbhairean from route up to Sail Chaorainn

Again it was an easy walk up onto Sail Chaorainn on a good path, albeit a bit boggy at times :lol: And again I had the summit to myself, so took a little time to take in some more food and just sit and enjoy the solitude away from the hustle and bustle of daily life
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Sail Chaorainn summit cairn

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Carn a Mhadaidh-ruaidh from Sail Chaorainn

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View north from Sail Chaorainn

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Glen Shiel hills

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Looking east

And with views like that it's so easy to lose myself in my thoughts :) which often turn to thoughts of my dad, who loved the highlands. He wasn't a great hill walker himself, but I know just how much he would have loved the views I get to see every (well, nearly every :lol:) Sunday :D :D It's in these quiet moments that I realise just how privileged I am to have the opportunity to get out and enjoy these magnificent hills :D :D

After my stop on the summit I decided to head for the nearby top - Carn na Coire Mheadhoin. It was a quick 20 minute round trip. Not bad, but not really anything special :? as the views didn't strike me as any better than what I had had at the summit. So it was a case of setting off on my way back to the car, via yet another top - Drochaid an Tuill Easaich.
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Glen Shiel across Drochaid an Tuill Easaich

I enjoyed the route back over Drochaid an Tuill Easaich. As for all the route the path was excellent and provided a different perspective on the hills I have just walked. I particularly liked the view back toward Sgurr nan Conbhairean :D :D
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Sgurr nan Conbhairean from Drochaid an Tuill Easaich

I was ambling down the ridge. The sun was shining still and the views across glen shiel were fantastic :D
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Another Glen Shiel view

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Ashamed to say I don't know what hill this one is!!

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South Glen Shiel

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Rock Island in Cluanie

It wasn't until I hit the end of the ridge and had to tackle the final drop down to the road side. It was steep, wet, slippery.......and, oh yeah.........boggy :lol: :lol: :lol: Very boggy :lol: :lol: It did slow me down a bit, as I tried to pick a route that avoided the path but didn't have me going A over T, H over H and arriving at the bottom quicker than planned :shock: :shock:

Eventually I was over the worst of the final descent and heading down to the road. The path meandered across to the Allt Coire nan Clach and a nice set of waterfalls down to the roadside
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Allt Coire nan Clach

All that remained was a short walk along the road back to the car. All in all an excellent day out on three easy hills with good paths. The weather was a real bonus and helped make this a fantastic day out on the hills. If this is what Kintail has to offer then I'll be back :D :D :D :D :D :D and soon :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
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PeteR
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Re: Opening up my Kintail account

Postby benno » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:58 am

PeteR wrote:Ashamed to say I don't know what hill this one is!!


Hmmm, me thinks it's something on the South ridge like Sgurr an Lochain, or it could be Sron na Breun Leitre on the other side (if visible from this angle though, tbh I doubt it is) - it's got that sort of Matterhorn shape I seem to remember from when doing the South ridge.

Not sure though.
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Re: Opening up my Kintail account

Postby benno » Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:00 pm

No on second thoughts it can't be that, South ridge is blocking the view. Must be something on the South ridge. I'd guess Lochain.
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Re: Opening up my Kintail account

Postby jonny616 » Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:15 pm

great report PeteR

I tried these in February & only managed the first one. i do love Kintal as an area.

regards

Jonny
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Re: Opening up my Kintail account

Postby ChrisW » Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:19 pm

Great report PeteR as always, I love your enthusiasm for, and approach to hillwalking - other than that bit of bog toward the end this looks like a perfect day in the hills to me :D
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Re: Opening up my Kintail account

Postby rockhopper » Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:20 pm

You certainly got the best of the recent weather with some great photos :D I really must try harder to get up here next year 8)
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Re: Opening up my Kintail account

Postby skuk007 » Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:22 pm

Looks like you had a very chilled-out day Pete. Haven't done any hills in this area but have driven past them all and can't wait every time I see other peoples photos. :)
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